Top Commander Takes Contol in Count Fleet

Top Commander led all the way for a 1 1/2 -length victory in the $150,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park on Thursday.

Trained by Cole Norman for owner Courtlandt Farms, Top Commander finished the six furlongs in 1:08.74 and paid $7.40, $4.80 and $3.40 as the second choice in a field of eight. It was Top Commander's first stakes win and his second victory in a row. He began the year with a 7 3/4-length allowance win last month.

The 5-year-old bay Kentucky-bred Kingmambo gelding set quick fractions of :21 4/5 and :44 2/5, pulling away from the stalking Forest Grove in the stretch.

``When we hit the top of the stretch, I told him, 'it's time to go, son,''' winning jockey Carlos Gonzalez said. ``I went to the whip inside the eighth pole, but he wasn't going to get caught today anyway.''

Forest Grove finished second by a half-length and returned $8.40 and $6.20, while That Tat paid $3.80 to show.

Two Down Automatic, 5-2 favorite Ole Rebel, Level Playingfield, Engineered and Rodeo's Castle completed the order.

(Chart, Equibase)